The Washington-based opposition group said Khalifa as well as most of
his soldiers were members of the Bu Saraya tribe. RPS has reported on Assad
intelligence agents who arrested or shot at soldiers for refusing orders to
fire at civilians.
Homs has been deemed a center of the revolt. The Syrian Army has been
shelling Homs while the Alawite mercenary force Shabiha was shooting toward
suspected opponents of the regime.
The opposition has reported that the regime arrested more than
11,000 civilians as part of the crackdown. The sources said Syrian security
forces have kept many of the detainees in soccer stadiums for lack of prison
The regime has acknowledged army and security force operations in Homs.
Military sources said Islamist snipers have killed Syrian soldiers in the
provinces of Homs and Dera.
Over the last few weeks, Syrian state-owned television has broadcast
purported confessions from suspected insurgents. Some of the detainees said
they had been ordered by foreign elements to attack Syrian soldiers and bomb
"Ten meters of the oil field between Baniyas and Homs were mined, and
mines were also planted in Banias entrance opposite Al Marqab castle,"
Ismail Al Bayyasi, charged with murder, told the television broadcasters.